The first biography of the grand couturier, surrealist, and embattled figure (her medium was apparel), whose extraordinary work has stood the test of time.Her style was a social revolution through clothing-luxurious, eccentric, ironic, sexy; synonymous with fashion innovation and chicesse. She was audacious; her fashions were inspired from the whimsical to the most practical-from a Venetian cape of the commedia dell'arte to a Soviet parachute. She collaborated on her designs with some of the greatest artists of the twentieth-century: on jewelry with Jean Schlumberger; on clothes with Salvador Dal; with Jean Cocteau, Alberto Giacometti; with photographers Man Ray, Horst, Cecil Beaton, and the young Richard Avedon. Her name: Elsa Schiaparelli. She was known as the Queen of Fashion; a headline attraction in the international glitter-glamour show of the late twenties and thirties; she gave fabulous parties-and went to those given by others; she lived and worked seriously and hard in much-photographed residences and was a guest at others; she knew the "e;everybodies"e; who were always "e;there"e; and inevitably became one of them herself, feted in Rome (where she was born), Paris, New York, London, Moscow, Dallas, Hollywood, Dublin. Now, Meryle Secrest, acclaimed biographer-whose work has been called "e;enthralling"e; (WSJ); "e;captivating"e; (WP Book World); "e;Rich in detail, scrupulously researched, sympathetically written"e; (NYRB), and who has captured the lives of many of the twentieth-century's most iconic, cultural figures, among them: Frank Lloyd Wright, Bernard Berenson, Leonard Bernstein, Duveen; Richard Rodgers; Modigliani; Stephen Sondheim-gives us the never-before-told story of this most extraordinary fashion designer, perhapsthemost extraordinary fashion designer of the twentieth-century, who in her time was more famous than Chanel.